JetBlue’s purchase of Spirit Airlines receives support from 2 consulting firms

JetBlue Airways’ (JBLU) $3.8 billion bid to acquire Spirit Airlines (SAVE) received backing on Thursday from two firms advising major investors on voting.

Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass, Lewis & Co. recommended that Spirit shareholders vote to accept JetBlue’s offer in the Oct. 19 vote.

Ted Christie, Spirit’s chief executive, said Thursday that the companies continue to make progress towards closing the transaction.

The two sides initially came to an agreement at the end of July after a long bidding war. Together they will form the fifth largest US airline with about 9% market share behind American, United, Delta and Southwest.

The proposed merger requires US Department of Justice approval. Antitrust authorities at the DOJ sued last year to block a proposed merger between American Airlines and JetBlue. There’s a trial going on in Boston.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland said a merger between American and JetBlue would result in higher fares and fewer flights and routes.

“In an industry where just four airlines control more than 80% of domestic air travel, American Airlines and JetBlue’s ‘alliance’ is indeed an unprecedented move to further consolidate the industry,” Garland said in a statement. “It would result in higher fares, fewer choices and lower quality service if allowed to continue.”

New York-based JetBlue won its bid for Spirit after a deal between Spirit and Frontier Airlines fell through.

The two companies will continue to operate independently until the agreement is approved by Spirit shareholders and government regulators. JetBlue’s purchase of Spirit Airlines receives support from 2 consulting firms

Fry Electronics Team

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